Friday, July 31, 2009

Lookalike Friday 9

I have a dilemma on my hands. There are some lookalikes that I have noticed in the past. However, it seems like these have become relatively well known. At the same time, there is an outside chance some readers of my blog may not have noticed. I would be remiss if I had a lookalike section but didn't include these people, especially if I had noticed them independently.

To that end, this week we have a two-for-one special at Lookalike Friday. Hopefully the volume will compensate for lack of originality.

1. This week we have Head Coach of the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't he look a lot like...

Omar Epps (most famously from House)?

2. This week we also have Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Jayson Werth. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't he look a lot like...

Edge from the WWE?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jim Johnson (May 26, 1941 – July 28, 2009)

Jim Johnson, Rest in Peace.

Jim Johnson passed away today at the age of 68 after his battle with cancer.

Johnson was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles for the past ten years. He revolutionized the defensive game, being renowned for his intricate blitz packages. His philosphy gave birth to 26 Pro-Bowlers as well as the success of John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens Head Coach), Steve Spagnuolo (new St. Louis Rams head coach), Ron Rivera (San Diego Chargers Defensive Coordinator) and Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator). In the future there will undoubtedly be more branches in the Jim Johnson tree.

As an Eagles fan and a fan of football in general, this is an incredibly sad day. I always thought the Eagles might lose Johnson to another team, but not to cancer.

He was an innovator and a fighter. I don't know what we would have done without him, and I don't know how we will go on without him in the future. What I do know is that he will be missed.

Alternate Reality

Imagine with me, if you will, an alternate universe. A universe that is not too different from our own.

In this alternate universe, Soulja Boy's music is not played on radios.

Therefore, Soulja Boy's "Crank Dat" was not a hit.

Therefore, nobody is familiar with the line, "Superman that ho"

Therefore, Dwight Howard is not inspired to wear a Superman costume during the Slam Dunk contest. (Remember, Dwight Howard did the whole Superman thing because he liked that song)

Therefore, Dwight Howard isn't nearly the household name he is today. In addition the comparisons are not made between one "Superman" (Howard) and another "Superman" (Shaquille O'Neal)

The question is: Did Soulja Boy (exhibit A) play a very significant part in the marketability of Dwight Howard (exhibit B).

Exhibit A: Soulja Boy

Exhibit B: Dwight Howard

Yes and No.

Yes, he played a significant part in making Dwight Howard popular, but eventually Dwight Howard would have been popular because of his jovial and likeable nature. Soulja Boy just helped him get there faster.

Dwight Howard should send a residual check every month for the next year to Soulja Boy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Email Address

If you have any questions for me, any comments, or any blog entry ideas, please send them to

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lookalike Friday 8

Sorry everyone. I was away this weekend and forgot to update before leaving.


Lookalike Friday time!

This week we have hotshot third baseman Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't he look a lot like...

Mark Wahlberg?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Search for The Answer

This is the end of the line for Allen Iverson.

If A.I.'s career was the movie Zoolander, we would be at the part where Hansel and the DJ breakdance fight.

You know there's probably nothing great left, but you watch just to see if there is. And then you watch the rest of the movie and there really is nothing great left. All the quotable quotes are said, and all the absurdly funny moments have passed. Sure Derek unleashes Magnum, which somehow stops a ninja star mid-flight, but honestly nothing in the last part of the movie ranks in the top 50 best moments of the entire movie.

Allen Iverson has had his best moments, his MVP, his run at a championship, his scoring titles, his brief time as the "face of the league". Now all we're left with is a guy who is pretty much useless for most franchises out there.

He won't stop shooting eleventy billion times a game. Iverson is a volume shooter. He makes 2 of the first 11 to get his rhythm going and sinks 7 of the last 10 to get 9/21 for the game. This is a deeply embedded part of his game, and he can't be effective without shooting 20+ shots a night. In Detroit he shot a little under 7.5 less shots per game than his career average, and his field goal percentage was one of the worst of any year in his career.

He can't be built around. This is well documented, and it's not like you're going to start building a team around a 34-year old anyway.

He can't become a role player, and he won't come off the bench. The only thing he knows how to do is handle the ball and create opportunities for himself and his teammates. That's not what role players do, yet that is the only role he is competent in playing. Therefore, he can never be a role player. Role players shoot 7 shots and make 4 of them and get scraps of stats across the board - not very Iversonian.

The only teams remotely interested in Iverson are the Clippers and the Grizzlies. Iverson could certainly be a focal point of either offense while he's on the court, but I'm sure he'd rather play for a contender.

Yet, no contender would stand to benefit from Iverson's skill set.

This is a Catch-22 if I've ever seen one. Iverson can't play for a contender because he can't be a role player. Iverson can't play for a non-contender because he gains nothing career-achievement-wise by playing for such a team.

Though true Catch-22s leave the victim with no choice, Iverson has a couple of options.

1. Retire.
2. Take the veteran minimum and sit on the bench for a contender. Play 12 minutes a game and shoot as many shots as humanly possible during that time. Hopefully try to win the ever elusive ring.
3. Sign with a crappy team and score as many points as you can over the next 2 years to try and get past Dominique Wilkins (2685 pts away) and crack the top 10 in all time scoring. Actually he needs to get past Oscar Robertson (2727 pts away) because Kobe is right behind him, and will crack the top 10 before Iverson.

I don't expect him to retire, but I also don't expect him to sign with a contender for a reduced role.

For someone who had such a loud career both on and off the court, and for someone who always caught your attention, whether it be fan, opposing player, or opposing coach, it will be an uncharacteristically quiet exit. My guess is that he will sign with the Clippers and fade into the night, probably citing an injury as the main culprit. He will retire after next season, and wait for his Hall of Fame induction.

Not a bad way to head into retirement, if you ask me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

About Schmidt

Tomorrow Jason Schmidt returns to the pitcher's mound for the first time since June 16, 2007 - a little more than two years.

Here are the major questions that need to be answered.

1. How will his shoulder hold up?
The length of his start will obviously depend on his effectiveness, but if the Dodgers can stake him a big lead early, we will be able to get the best idea of where he is health-wise.

2. What kind of pitches will he throw?
This is Jason Schmidt's pitch distribution with his best years in San Francisco:


As you can see, Schmidt was a primarily fastball-changeup guy. He would overpower you with the fastball and keep you off balance with the changeup. He has a slider, but used used it less often as the years went by.

Obviously Jason Schmidt has to reinvent himself if he wants to succeed. He can't blow guys away anymore, so he's going to have to find other ways to get them out.

He can stick to his fastball-changeup routine, but he's going to have to start nibbling at corners and pitching smarter than he ever did before. Greg Maddux used a fastball-changeup combo and basically nothing else and everyone knows how well he fared with it.

Alternatively, Schmidt can bring back the slider and bring it into the mix, along with potentially his curveball. It goes without saying that he has to throw these pitches well, but if he can, it will place less of a burden on his being accurate.

Ideally, I would like to see Schmidt throw a 60-20-20 split of fastballs, changeups and sliders.

3. What can you expect from him?
I think if Jason Schmidt can give the Dodgers 6 innings and give up 4 runs or less, that should be considered a successful outing. The Ks don't matter. He can get 2 or 12, but I don't think it will mean much. Too many variables go into Ks to make any conclusions from one outing.

4. If he pitches well, will the Dodgers still go out and get pitching help?
In my opinion, the Dodgers absolutely should go get more pitching regardless of Schmidt's performance on Monday.

If he can consistently give the Dodgers at least 6 innings and 4 or less runs given up, then he will be just the fifth starter they've been looking for. McDonald and Weaver can move back to the bullpen permanently for this season as long guys. Hong Chih Kuo, Cory Wade, Ronald Beer Belly-sario and Will Ohman were all supposed to figure prominently this season in the bullpen. They're all injured. In their absence, Torre has turned to Brent Leach, Claudio Vargas, and Scott Elbert. That's not going to cut it.

The Dodgers have to make some moves, and a few relievers out there worth trading for are George Sherrill of the Orioles, Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays, and good old Joe Beimel of the Nationals.

If the Dodgers can get both Sherrill and Frasor, bullpen issues are OVER. Guaranteed.

It will be really exciting to see what Schmidt has to give, as well as his approach to facing batters. Even if he has a really bad outing, the Dodgers should give him a couple more chances to prove himself.

They owe him that much. (Along with $15.2 million in salary this year)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

David vs Goliath

David Beckham returned to the Galaxy last week from his 5-month loan to AC Milan. For those who aren't up to speed, he let it be known that he wanted to stay with AC Milan, but negotiations for the Italian team to purchase him from the Galaxy fell through. He finished up his time with AC Milan and is now back to Los Angeles.

For what it's worth, the Galaxy defeated the lowly New York Red Bulls, the Detroit Lions of the MLS. But the whole Beckham thing hasn't really been about wins and losses. At least not anymore.

The Beckham Experiment, to many, is officially a failure. Why? Because 90% of the United States thinks so, and nothing that David Beckham can do can change it. Even if the Los Angeles Galaxy outscore opponents by 6 goals each game and destroy everyone en route to an MLS Cup, perceptions won't really change.

I don't really blame him, though. David Beckham's quest to raise the sport of soccer into the consciousness of America was sabotaged early and often.

Fundamentally it was going to be tough because Beckham is a table setter. He enhances the play of those around him. Many times, the things that Beckham does well go unnoticed. America is uninterested in role players.

Then he got injured. America has no mercy for the weak.

Then the Galaxy decided even though they were spending eleventy billion dollars on David Beckham, spending another few million to get some decent defenders and a decent goalie wasn't worth it. The Galaxy have essentially been the Clippers of the MLS while Beckham has been with the team. America has no tolerance for losers.

Finally, Beckham officially wanted out. He wanted to stay in Italy and play with his fellow Europeans. He didn't want to come back to Los Angeles if he didn't have to. America rejects you; you don't reject America.

Beckham will probably opt out of his Galaxy contract at the end of the year and most likely sign with a club team in Europe. He will probably never set foot on another converted-from-an-NFL-field soccer pitch in the United States ever again.

It seems like there are a lot of people who now hate David Beckham for trying to stay in Milan. I'm not one of those people.

I am a realist.

If something has gone completely not according to plan, I'm going to try to find a way out of it. That's what Beckham did, and that's what I would have done.

Let's say you did something against the rules, like leaving early from work without telling anyone and getting paid for it or calling in sick but not really being sick at all. Let's say you were pretty sure that you weren't going to ever have to own up to it. Now if someone goes around the office the next month asking everyone if they ever left work early or took a sick day without actually being sick, and everyone else was saying "no", wouldn't you say "no" also, just to avoid the hassle of having to explain yourself about something that is done and over with? I absolutely would! And I absolutely would lie to a reporter if I took steroids and was asked if I had ever taken steroids. Why would you say "yes" when there's no proof against you? Why would you bring that upon yourself? Everyone likes to say that if they were A-Rod they would have admitted to Katie Couric in 2007 that they used steroids instead of lying about it, but when push comes to shove most people would lie and not even flinch.

But I digress.

The MLS will not reach levels of popularity even remotely close to baseball, basketball and football in the United States anytime soon. The obstacles in the way are too big to be conquered by any one soccer player. There will be more like Beckham to come in the future, though probably none with the expectations the English midfielder faced.

Ultimately, the MLS will not be a major force in the sporting world unless a number of players raised and trained in the United States with skill and marketability show loyalty and commitment to the growth of MLS.

When you think about David Beckham and his impact on soccer in America, don't hold him to the standard of his Biblical namesake. The fact that people are even talking about the MLS should be enough to consider The Beckham Experiment a success.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lookalike Friday 7

Oh yeah, Lookalike Friday time!

We're switching it up! This week we have the Washington Nationals "W" logo. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't it look a lot like...

The W from the Walgreens logo?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Curry House

I was writing a post where I state that Stephen Curry will never make a single NBA All-Star game.

I tried to back it up using statistics, but came to realize that there was no good angle I could take. Ultimately it boils down to how much of a drop off you think there will be going from Mid-Major Davidson to the NBA this season, and if he can build it back up over the course of his career.

Let's start with his Davidson stats:

Season Averages

Now we have to establish how he'll perform in the NBA.

In his peak three years I believe Stephen Curry will average no more than:
17 points per game
3 3-pointers per game
3 assists per game
1.5 steals per game
90% free throw percentage
37% 3-point percentage
45% field goal percentage

Here are ten seasons of past NBA guards within the past 5 years that come close to this mold

Jason Richardson2006-07.417.367.65716.
Cuttino Mobley2003-04.426.390.81115.
Ben Gordon2007-08.434.410.90818.
Ray Allen2007-08.445.398.90717.
Eddie Jones2003-04.409.370.83517.
Ben Gordon2005-06.422.435.78716.
Michael Finley2003-04.443.405.85018.
Leandro Barbosa2007-08.462.389.82215.
Cuttino Mobley2004-05.438.439.82017.
Joe Johnson2004-05.461.478.75017.

There is only one All-Star among these players: Ray Allen. That season, Ray Allen had a much better first half than second half, so I partly blame that for an All-Star posting lower than usual overall season numbers.

In fact, none of the other players have been to an All-Star game at ANY point in their career, not just the years listed above.

Don't get me wrong, all of the other players are GOOD players. I think if Stephen Curry could be a Ben Gordon or an Eddie Jones or Cuttino Mobley, I think he will have had a good career. I just don't think it will have been a career that featured an All-Star game.

There may be some out there who are wondering about the Don Nelson factor. You're wondering if playing for a guy who runs high scoring offenses and spends more time every day wondering about breakfast sausage than improving team defense will inflate Curry's chances for making an All-Star team.

Consider these players who are short, scoring guards who played in one of Nelson's last six teams.

Monta Ellis 06-07, 07-08, 08-09
Baron Davis 06-07, 07-08
C.J. Watson 07-08, 08-09
Jason Terry 04-05
Devin Harris 04-05
Tony Delk 03-04
Nick Van Exel 02-03

Among them, zero All-Star appearances in those given years.

Obviously if you believe Stephen Curry will post better numbers than what I predict for him, then you have reason to believe he will one day be an All-Star. I just don't think so.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

UFC 100

I watched my first UFC event for the first time last night. I think I must have ordered 6 or so boxing events in the past, but never a UFC pay-per-view.

Suffice it to say, I know nothing about UFC.

I don't know too many of the fighters. I know there's a couple of good guys with the last name Silva. I know who Rampage Jackson is. I know Iceman Chuck Lidell. I know Brock Lesnar from the WWF. That about does it for me.

I don't know too many of the moves. I know what a guillotine is. I know an arm bar. I know what it looks like when someone gets knocked the eff out. That's about it as far as moves go for me.

So with limited knowledge, I watched UFC 100.

I'm sad we missed the first seven bouts, because there were three submissions that would have been fun to watch. The fact that after merely an hour and fifteen minutes they finished seven matches is, to me, awesome. I'll get to this later.

Michael Bisping getting destroyed by Dan Henderson was awesome. Georges St-Pierre defeating Thiago Alves was, at best, boring. Brock Lesnar knocking out Frank Mir was a spectacle. Jon Fitch defeating Paulo Thiago was boring.

So, of the four matches, two were good. About what I expected.

A couple of things I was thinking about:
1. What do I do with Brock Lesnar? I like him, but I don't.

I love guys with charisma. Brock Lesnar has charisma. However, Lesnar has moments where he is exceedingly unclassy, which I am not a fan of. I highly enjoy small amounts of classlessness (e.g. touchdown dances, sack dances, admiring a home run after hitting it, bat flipping after hitting a home run, team Korea planting the Korean flag on the mound after defeating team Japan in the WBC).

Brock Lesnar's classlessness was a bit too much for me. If he had praised Frank Mir after the fight, however contrived it may have been, I would have loved it. I was also not a fan of his flipping off the fans, but that may be holdover behaviour from the WWF. He gets a pass for that.

I'll reserve judgement on Lesnar for another day, but I'm leaning toward being a fan of his, especially in light of his post fight press conference. I liked what he said there.

2. UFC has an inherent entertainment advantage over boxing.

The matches are shorter, so the action is faster. This is more entertaining. This also allows UFC to schedule more matches per event than boxing, which is a great selling point for viewers. More fights means that you're going to see at least one knockout during the course of the event, which the reason why most people watch hand-to-hand combat.

With boxing you get about five matches, but nobody really watches the undercards because nobody really knows who these guys are.

For the main event, best case scenario is a knockout between rounds 8 and 12 or a decision with multiple knockdowns during the fight. Anything else is either a disappointment because of lack of action, or it is too short.

Boxing really should consider shortening its fights down to 7 rounds, max.

3. UFC President Dana White has an amazing product on his hands.

The biggest hurdle for the UFC was whether or not the public would accept it. The public has, without a doubt, accepted and embraced UFC.

UFC has fewer rules, fewer restrictions, and fewer governing bodies than boxing. UFC is actual legit fighting, which is its advantage over professional wrestling, but is almost as eventful.

UFC has found its place into a small, comfortable, profitable place of the fighting world between antiquated (boxing) and absurd (pro wrestling). You would think that the next step would be for some sort of unification of the different mixed martial arts companies, but I disagree. I think having all of those competing entities is good for the sport overall.

If you want to know which one I like better, UFC or boxing, my answer is neither. If I had to pick, I would say boxing because it's a known quantity to me, but I could definitely see myself becoming a UFC fan if I continue to order pay-per-views and get into it more. But I don't think that liking boxing for the sake of its having more history is a good reason to like it more than UFC. The Yankees have more history than the Rays, but I think the Rays are much funner to watch and are a better team.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lookalike Friday 6

Oh yeah, Lookalike Friday time!

This week we have New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't he look a lot like...

Carlton Banks?

I say Carlton Banks, as opposed to Alfonso Ribeiro, because Alfonso Ribeiro now looks like this:

To those who may disagree, I admit my opinion that they look alike waned when I tried to find pictures displaying their similarities, but I posted it because I read other opinions online agreeing that they looked alike. Also, whenever you talk Carlton Banks, you get a chance to post this:

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh I'm Halla Down

The Toronto Blue Jays have expressed that if someone is willing to offer them a large package (of baseball players) then they would be willing to consider it in exchange for Roy Halladay. They would be willing to part ways with their ace starting pitcher because they're not sure they would be able to re-sign him when he hits free agency.

This is becoming a more common move, particularly with smaller market teams who don't have the funds necessary to re-sign their stud pitchers. Usually they are traded for prospects, so the team giving up the current star has a chance to possibly land a future star.

There have been some notable moves in the past few years. Here are some I've come up with off the top of my head. Analysis will follow. Basically I'm going to judge whether or not the team trading the stud ended up getting anyone good from the trade.

(numbers in parentheses are the player's birth year, if pertinent)
Oakland A's trade Tim Hudson to the Atlanta Braves
Oak: Charles Thomas, Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer
Atl: Hudson

Charles Thomas: No longer in league
Juan Cruz (78): Now with the Royals, solid relief pitcher
Dan Meyer (81): Waived by A's, now with Marlins

Verdict: Oakland wasn't able to land anyone good enough to stay on their team, but Hudson has been an overall disappointment with the Braves as well. More or less a wash.

Oakland A's send Mark Mulder to the St. Louis Cardinals
Oak: Dan Haren, Kiko Calero, Daric Barton
StL: Mulder

Daric Barton (85): still too early to tell
Kiko Calero (75): released by A's

Verdict: Again, the A's sold at the right time, because Mulder hasn't done much with the Cardinals since being traded there. The A's absolutely got a gem in Dan Haren, who played very well for them. Speaking of Haren...

Oakland A's trade Dan Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks
Oak: Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Carlos Gonzalez
Ariz: Haren, Connor Robertson
(Later Rockies trade Matt Holliday to the A's for Huston Street, Greg Smith, Carlos Gonzalez)

Brett Anderson (88): Solid in minors, no good in handful of appearances in majors
Dana Eveland (83): Very average, end of rotation starter
Chris Carter (82): In Boston organization now
Aaron Cunningham (86): Still too young
Greg Smith and Carlos Gonzalez: Used to get Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies

Verdict: The prospects are too young to tell. Had Matt Holliday not been a huge bust in Oakland so far this year, I would be inclined to say this was actually not a bad move. Essentially you're getting 4 prospects PLUS Matt Holliday for Dan Haren. Since they're going to probably end up trading Matt Holliday before season's end, the question of whether or not the Dan Haren trade was good for the A's will be more complicated than Avril Lavigne in an episode of Lost.

Minnesota Twins trade Johan Santana to the New York Mets
Minn: Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra
NY: Santana

Carlos Gomez: Starting CF for the Twins
Phil Humber (82): Has been very bad in a handful of appearances so far
Deolis Guerra (89) and Kevin Mulvey (85): Still too young

Verdict: If you can get any starter in one of these deals, I think it's a good deal. Carlos Gomez is a defensively good center fielder and quick on the basepaths, so any one of those other prospects who becomes a decent player is icing on the cake.

Cleveland Indians trade Carston Charles (CC) Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers
Cle: Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson
Mil: CC, Michael Brantley

Matt LaPorta (85): Good in the minors, got called up earlier this year, still very young
Rob Bryson (87): Still too young
Zach Jackson (85): Not great so far in his starts

Verdict: Matt LaPorta will most likely be the only player of value gained from the Brewers. The only problem is that he is an outfielder and the Indians have three good or emerging young outfielders in Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo and Ben Francisco. His success as a Cleveland Indian remains to be seen.

Overall, these trades are usually, all things considered, productive ones for the team selling the star pitcher before he hits the free agent market.

I honestly don't think a Roy Halladay trade is going to happen because it seems like the Blue Jays want an incredible amount of talent in return for him, and the Blue Jays have been wearing him out this season so far. Both parties will not be able to come to an agreement over what is a fair trade for Roy Halladay. That is, unless the Blue Jays relax their demands or if a team gets really desperate to win this year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Steve McNair

Rest in peace Steve McNair.

With media coverage of athletes being what it is these days, with so much access to their personal lives and footage of their interactions with others, you would like to think that you have a good idea of what kind of person a particular athlete is.

Steve McNair seemed like he was a great teammate and person to be around. He also seemed to be an all around classy guy to be around.

My new favorite athlete these days is Orlando Hudson, after seeing just how much of a class act he is on and off the field. Steve McNair, to me, embodied a lot of those same qualities that I appreciate about Orlando Hudson. I'm sure any former teammate, team employee, league employee, or team front office person will tell you the same.

The mystery surrounding his death is sure to unravel in the upcoming days. For now, all we know is that this was certainly a tragic way to die, for a guy who seemed to be so good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lookalike Friday 5

Oh yeah, Lookalike Friday time!

This week we have San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who is having a breakout year. I thought to myself, boy...doesn't he look a lot like...

The guy from various commercials, most notably from the MLB 09 The Show commercial with Dustin Pedroia. You know, the one with the back and forth banter between him and Pedroia about how he can't hit an inside fastball?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

So Ron, But it Feels So Right

Ron Artest to the Lakers, Trevor Ariza to the Rockets.


If you asked me yesterday to list out the 100 most likely scenarios for Ariza's signing and the Lakers' subsequent signing of a replacement for him, this would not have cracked that list.

It makes sense and it absolutely doesn't.

What makes sense:
- The only advantage Ariza has over Artest is his age - 24 and 29, respectively. Artest is more physical. Though Ariza improved, Artest shoots the 3 point shot much better. Ariza is a solid defender, but there are few defenders in NBA history better than Artest.
- Artest comes DIRT CHEAP. 3 years, $6 million a year! Here are some other players making between $6 million and $7 million next year:
Vlad Radmanovic
Nazr Mohammed
DeSagana Diop
Jeff Foster
Dan Gadzuric
Tony Battie
Morris Peterson
Chris Duhon
Earl Watson
Jason Kapono
- Who was the last "crazy NBA guy" before Ron Artest? Who did Ron Artest wear 91 in honor of, when he was in Indiana? Dennis Rodman. Who was the one man able to tame said "crazy NBA guy"? Phil Jackson.

What doesn't make sense:
- Artest is good, but he's somewhat reached his peak. Ariza can get much better...AND HE DOESN'T DO THINGS THAT WOULD LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE HE'S CRAZY!!!
- Phil Jackson is most likely going to come back, but you would think that after this year, the Lakers are Kurt Rambis's team. Can Kurt Rambis handle Ron Artest? I suppose having Kobe there could help, much like having Jordan helped reel in Rodman, but I don't know. The next coach is going to have his hands full.
- Why would Trevor Ariza turn down the Lakers' $5.8 million, only to accept Houston's $5.8 million? To spite them? I suppose it makes sense. He could have signed with Cleveland, but then he wouldn't get to play the Lakers two more times. Someone (his agent, friends, media, me) got it in his head that he was going to get a raise more to the tune of $7- or $8-million a year, rather than the midlevel exception of $5.8 million, and his pride was hurt when the Lakers didn't offer a generous raise.
**by the way, the midlevel exception means that any team can use a set amount of money (the average salary of all NBA players, this year $5.8 million) to sign free agents even if the team is over the salary cap, or if signing that free agent would have put the team over the salary cap.**

An alternative explanation is that the Lakers never really made an offer to Ariza, only hinting that they would only offer a mid-level deal to gauge his interest, and went for Artest as soon as he became available. This would hurt my feelings too, if I was Trevor Ariza. You are an essential cog in a team's championship run, and they spurn you for someone who does things to lead people to believe he's crazy.

All in all, I think this move will prove to be a positive one for the Lakers ONLY IF they can re-sign Lamar Odom. This gives the Lakers a solid option in the off chance that Ron Artest somehow gets himself into trouble and is unable to play or suspended from playing.

This NBA offseason is ridiculous so far. A lot of teams are going to look so different. I love it.